Pulse: 60-Second Critic: The Best of World Cafe

The Best of World Cafe
By David Dye (Running Press; $19.95)

David Dye’s World Cafe is one of Philly’s underappreciated cultural gems. The show, produced at WXPN and heard on 185 radio stations around the country, smartly presents and explores the best of contemporary pop, rock and folk. This collection pulls together nearly 70 of the “conversations” Dye has held over the past 16 years with an eclectic group of major artists — among them Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Isaac Hayes, Beck and Tori Amos. While it’s not perfect — some of the interviews feel dated, while others read more like straight transcriptions than conversations edited for print — overall, the book is entertaining and fascinating. Highlight: Sting revealing that he wrote one song from the point of a view of a dog, and that he’s doing yoga as he speaks. B+